#1336: SpeakerSpacing

It seems the guidelines for optimal placement of one’s speakers in a room are reasonably straightforward.

Today’s invention is a pair of speakers which are set on movable stands. The speakers can be driven vertically upwards and downwards and the stands are also mobile, being driven across the floor by onboard motors.

The system comes equipped with a remote control unit (containing a wifi transmitter). Sit down, holding this facing the speakers, in your listening chair and they will automatically dispose themselves adaptively to suitable positions and heights (relative to the corners of the room, the listener and each other).

The remote allows the selection of different test music and also fine tuning of speaker location/orientation.

#1335: Mufflemuzzle

Today’s invention is a silencer for that neighbourhood dog whose owner is unable to stop it barking all the time.

Since each dog has a pretty characteristic and consistent nuisance-bark wavelength, this would take the form of a simple muffler device with a resonator chamber which would be adjustable in length to allow cancellation of that particular animal’s bark.

At night, the dog would wear a muzzle fitted with a silencer of this type made of lightweight plastic material.

#1333: DigiDial

I have just seen one of the latest Breitling wristwatches: a mechanical masterpiece with an electronic display but with a dial that looks designed by someone who works on fast food packaging or maybe matchboxes.

Today’s invention is a dial in the form of a digital display fitted to high-end mechanical watches. This would allow a user to choose an alternative backdrop to the clockwork-driven hands from a very large number of combinations of colour, numeral size and font etc.

This would provide effectively a whole new look every day and add extra value to a very expensive piece of machinery/jewellery.

#1326: Digityping

So, just type in ‘ colondoublebackslashwww.domain.nnn ‘ after the prompt; obviously without including the quotes and stuff

This is the kind of instruction which tech support geeks give to newbie customers, and which usually results in great frustration at both ends of the phone line.

Today’s invention is a browser plug-in which shows an animated finger moving slowly across a keyboard illustrating exactly the correct sequence of keystrokes and without any possible alternative interpretations.

This would require that an image of a finger was stored hovering over each key and that a realtime image interpolation be constructed of the movement between eg A and B.

(It just occurred to me that a keyboard which could be remotely controlled in player piano mode, the keys being depressed in sequence by internal magnets, as if by some ghostly hand, might also help avoid misunderstandings when illustrating keyboard techniques).

#1325: Bakeshaker

Today’s invention is a device which can be used in any oven to minimise the amount of time for which the oven door is open. Every such opening wastes huge amounts of energy and makes the kitchen more like a sauna.

The device is in the form of an insulated hinge device which grips the bars of one of the horizontal dividers. The other end of the device clips onto a baking tray. A small radio-controlled motor opens and closes the hinge (reflecting user-selected amplitudes and frequencies).

This has the effect of repositioning the food items in the tray in order to achieve uniform cooking, without the potential for burning one’s wrists.

A more advanced system could be equipped with a temperature probe capable of oscillating the food in response to the readings taken.

#1322: RivuLights

It seems that crowds behave in ways that can sometimes be predicted by physics.

Today’s invention is an overhead panel for walkways which consists of a diffusing screen behind which an array of green and red leds is located.

Each led unit is connected to a motion sensor which can detect coarsely the direction of movement of someone walking (or running) beneath.

In order to smooth the passage of a crowd moving both ways in the walkway, each person looks at the colour over their own head and then walks towards a patch of that colour on the ceiling.

This tends to coalesce individuals into a small number of streams (eg 2) which pass each other with less interruption.

#1318: PercussionPrint

Today’s invention is a printer which prints in a rhythmic way, so as to emulate the musical sound of drums in a band.

Users could choose the style of drumming, from pipeband to samba, even specifying this in the page setup instructions.

This would inevitably slow printing down a little but it would turn an unpleasant background drone into an engaging, user-defined ‘tune’.

#1312: PostView

When using a networked printer, that ‘page preview’ thing never works well enough to be relied upon. Inevitably the printer is located half a day’s walk away from your desk, so you will make a print, trek, gasp in surprise at the ugly errors it contains, bin it and repeat a few times.

This wastes time and paper.

Today’s invention is a network printer which scans what it has just printed and sends you a copy electronically. You will almost certainly want to improve on the first version, so it will then offer you the option of feeding the paper back through the machine for another print on the other side.

#1311: Redina

It seems that colour perception gradually develops a greenish ‘overlay’ as long as one is awake (and gets reset after a night’s sleep).

If you work in an industry where judging colours is important, such as interior decorating or fashion design, this may actually have a significant effect.

Today’s invention is a plugin for Photoshop (or Gimp) which takes this into account and very gradually changes the screen colour balance towards the reddish end throughout a day’s work.

Following a wakeful night, a colour matching test could be arranged at the start of the day to recalibrate the screen so as to provide a personalised, consistent starting point.

#1309: LowRoad

When traveling from A to B it seems that people tend to prefer roads which lie south of a line joining A and B (maybe because North feels ‘uphill’).

In an attempt to redress this cognitive bias and redistribute the traffic levels on alternative routes, today’s invention involves representing such southerly roads by thinner lines on a map.

The impression given would be that these are less easily passable and thus help equalise the number of journeys via northerly and southerly routes.